How Much Meat Does Your Family Eat?

Kim Conte

steak meatLast night it was Mr. Cafe Kim's turn to make dinner. He made us an Asian-style stir-fry with tofu and a mixture of fresh and frozen veggies we had in the fridge. I was surprised because usually he prefers some kind of meat or poultry dish. But he said he wants us to try to eat less meat this year so we can be healthier and save money.

I know that lots of families these days are cutting back on their meat consumption for these and other reasons. I thought this article from about buying the best beef was particularly helpful to keep in mind when you do buy meat so you can be sure it is an affordable yet still healthy cut for your family.


How many times a week does your family eat meat?

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Here are some helpful tips from the article to keep in mind when you are perusing the meat selection in your local grocery store:

Grain-finished vs. Grass-finished: Most of the beef consumed in the United States is grain-finished. This means that the cows have been fed grain (usually corn); however, because cows don't naturally digest grains, they usually are given antibiotics and growth hormones. Grass-finished (meaning that the cows were fed grass or legumes) is lower in saturated fat, calories, and cholesterol. This type of beef is said to be more sustainable, but it is also more expensive.

Lean Cuts (instead of fattier cuts): "Lean" beef according to USDA standards has less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5g or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 3½-ounce serving of cooked beef. Look for naturally lean cuts of beef including tenderloin, flank steak, and sirloin. These cuts are often cheaper and the most healthy.

Prime vs. Choice vs. Select: These three terms are used for grading by the USDA and refer to the amount of marbling—or flecks of white fat in the meat. The more marbling, the higher the grade. Highly marbled "prime" is usually the meat served in top steakhouses and restaurants. "Choice", or moderately marbled, is the meat most commonly found in supermarkets. You can also sometimes find lean "Select" in the grocery store.

Organic: Organic meat means that the cow has been fed 100 percent organically (either grass or grain) and without antibiotics or growth hormones.

Have you recently cut down on the amount of meat your family eats?

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